YoYo Games is making GameMaker Studio 2 free to all developers looking to learn the ropes, meaning creators will only need to pay when they want to share and publish their project.
The company is switching to a subscription model designed to offer more flexibility and affordability, while also removing all restrictions on the free version of GameMaker Studio 2 to allow folks to properly get to grips with the engine.
"Today everyone can learn how to build games by starting slowly and enjoying the thrill of creation. And if your creations are ready to be shared with the world, there is an option to get your game out to your favorite platforms, fast," wrote the company.
"Starting with desktop and then moving to web and mobile, more and more platforms are being introduced and then quickly becoming adopted by game creators. To meet those needs and encourage developers to ship their games everywhere we are making our purchasing options broader and at the same time more affordable and flexible."
Those revamped purchasing options take the form of three new subscription tiers: Free, Indie, and Enterprise (showcased below). The Free subscription does exactly what it says on the tin, granting access to GameMaker Studio 2, game assets, and learning resources free-of-charge.
To actually export and publish their game, however, creators will need to upgrade to the Indie or Enterprise tiers, with the former allowing publication across all non-console platforms including desktop, web, and mobile, and the latter throwing PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and Switch into the mix.
YoYo Games has also lowered the price of shipping to console platforms, and as part of its reworked subscription model has introduced monthly payments with no minimum commitment.
"Our vision has always been to make it as easy as possible for anyone to start making awesome games," said YoYo Games CTO, Russell Kay. "Today’s announcement represents a huge step forward in making GameMaker more accessible to game creators of all levels. We are also committed to fostering creativity within our community and will be introducing exciting new initiatives in this area later this year."
For more information on the changes, including what they mean for existing license holders, be sure to check out the Subscription FAQ on the YoYo Games website.